Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said Friday that Jeff Sessions' past comments around race "are cause for serious alarm" and he should be rejected as U.S. attorney general.
"Senator Sessions deeply concerns me as a potential Attorney General," Healey said in a statement. "He has made a career standing against many of our most important values as a state."
President-elect Donald Trump named the Alabama Senator as his choice for attorney general on Friday. Sessions will require Senate confirmation before he can assume the role.
Healey said Sessions' past comments - particularly around race - "are cause for serious alarm and were reason enough for the Senate to deny him a judicial appointment under President Reagan.
Sessions withdrew from consideration for a federal judgeship in 1986 after being accused of making racist comments while serving as a U.S. attorney in Alabama, including calling a black assistant U.S. attorney "boy" in conversation. Sessions denied the accusation.
"If you are 'OK' with the Ku Klux Klan, you shouldn't run the Justice Department," Healey said. "I hope this pick is rejected and leaders make clear he is unacceptable in such a critical role on behalf of the people."
Healey isn't the only Massachusetts Democrat weighing in on the Republican president-elect's transition team and cabinet picks.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent Trump a letter earlier this week accusing him of breaking his campaign promise to "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C. by staffing his transition team with lobbyists, Wall Street bankers and industry insiders.
She also issued a statement on Friday urging Trump to reverse his decision to nominate Sessions as U.S. attorney general.
"If he refuses, then it will fall to the Senate to exercise fundamental moral leadership for our nation and all of its people," Warren said. "Thirty years ago, a different Republican Senate rejected Senator Sessions' nomination to a federal judgeship. In doing so, that Senate affirmed that there can be no compromise with racism; no negotiation with hate. Today, a new Republican Senate must decide whether self-interest and political cowardice will prevent them from once again doing what is right."